After the revelations by Edward Snowden in 2013, most people seemed to be up in arms about the extent the NSA keeps an eye on everyone around the world.
Interestingly the outrage did not seem to last long. Internet users still seem to trust Google to handle all their data. Also, the fallacious claim, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about, was shouted at those who were concerned about their privacy.
Services and software that offer good encryption when communicating online has existed for a while, but they have either been a bit too obscure or a bit daunting for non-savvy computer users.
Now that most people either have an iPhone or an Android phone there is a higher expectation that apps should be easy to use by anyone — even apps that offer to protect your privacy.
Keep in mind, nothing is and can be 100% secure. But the more difficult you make it for someone to eavesdrop on your communication, the better.
The company claims to offer the user military-grade encryption of text, picture, audio and video messages — where encrypted messages are not stored on their servers. When sending a message to someone the sender decides for how long the message can be available to the receiver after it has been read.
Wickr’s cofounder Nico Sell even turned down FBI’s casual request to allow them access. Showing they are dedicated to protect your privacy.
It is available for both iOS and Android.
This app has recently been released and gotten a lot of attention. It has a different approach to how you read your messages, where you have to reveal the message by swiping your finger across each word. After you have read it, the message is then deleted.
For now it is only available for iOS, but they seem to be working on an Android app.
Both of these apps seem to do what they promise, but what might still worry some is that they are based in USA. Which means the company and their servers are subject to US legislation.
This is why Hemlis might be a better option, when it is released, as they intend to host their servers in Iceland.
They have not said when it will be released, but given the background of those behind it and, as stated, it will without a doubt become very popular. Especially if they stick to the promise to host their servers in Iceland, where privacy laws are very strong.
When it is released it will be available for both iOS and Android.
Before you think these apps are only for those whom are paranoid or deal with sensitive information, take some time to look at how you communicate with colleagues, friends and family when talking about a sensitive topic.
Using apps like these is no different from when you look over your shoulder, lean in towards someone and quietly tell them something you want to be kept secret.
The only difference is that when communicating digitally it is much harder to notice if someone is eavesdropping on your private conversation.
Over to you, the reader, what do you use to keep our communication private?